Choosing Vancouver Island life; living in a rainforest


When people think of rainforests, they often think of the tropical variety with pygmy monkeys, big leafy green trees, muggy heat, colourful and poisonous frogs, high pitched birds calling from the cathedral 75 metre canopy ceiling above and streams of light falling through to the bottom where debri and matter form the nutrients to create massive amounts of bacteria and microorganisms. These ecosystems are teaming with a massive variety of life!

When you live in a temperate coastal rainforest; Yoda’s bog comes more to mind, especially in the winter months. It’s a much cooler place but equally as beautiful in its own way. Although both similar in they both have giant trees, the wet, colder nature of Nanaimo definitely has a different feel. It is not too hot and not too cold here, like Goldilocks porridge, the moderate temperatures fall between 0° – 32° celsius, one key to the diversity, where as the temperatures of tropical rainforests are between 20°-25°C and receives 2000-10000 mm of rain per year. Temperate rainforests are also wet, but not as rainy as tropical rainforests. Here we get between 1500-5000 mm per year while the other moisture we receive comes in the form of coastal fog that lingers on the trees. The fog provides about 180-310 mm (18 – 30°C) of rain each year. When walking inside the forest on the island, there are many different types of local ferns, ground cover, shrubs and vegetation. It is also a diverse biome.

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Yup, that is this week’s weather forecast. Heavy rain with a chance of showers; a typical winter week of rain! Damp, humid and cool, but not cold.

Three months and counting. Island life has been super chill; full of long walks in my UGGS, beautiful landscapes, big temperamental skies, spiking snow capped mountain tops, misty, foggy rolling green hills and wide open ocean ways. Living on a breathing coastal rock in a rainforest, is nothing short of spectacular. Silvery mercury colour schemes, dampness that makes your hair curl, and reflective roads are my everyday. Ferns take over acreages, and old growth forest; massive pine cone producing conifer, evergreen trees, are something you see every single day and at every turn. Most Canadians take these grandscapes for granted, as something that will always be here, something that is inherently ours. Everyone goes outside, taking themselves into the great outdoors. There is no bad weather here they say, just bad clothing. As I put on my rain jacket, my waterproof gumboots, I have to agree. After all, what’s a little water right?

And with forests come wildlife. The most dangerous are the Grizzly bear, wolverine, black bear, badgar, wolves and cougar. More common are bobcats, porcupines, deer, cariboo, coyotes, foxes, and large birds of prey. Squirrels, possums, racoons, bunnies, hedgehogs, shrews and massive amounts of tiny birds live here year round. The ocean is also full of life; whales, orca, dolphins, manatees, sea lions, seals and a massive variety of fish.

There is much to explore. I have only just begun. We are still pursuing happiness, just closer to home…

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